Public Health and Counterfeit Medicines: The Role of the World Health Organization
(2013; 6 pages)

"This article is reproduced with permission from the January 11, 2013 issue of the ASIL Insights © 2013 American Society of International Law. All rights reserved. For more information, please visit"


The normative and policy-setting functions of the World Health Organization ("WHO") have been substantially influenced by the differences of opinion within WHO’s membership about the impact of trade and intellectual property ("IP") rules on public health. In particular, WHO members differ as to the organization’s role in addressing the perceived failure of the pharmaceutical market to generate safe and affordable medicines for diseases predominantly affecting developing countries.

A number of ongoing developments in the WHO demonstrate the difficult interface between trade, health, IP, and medicines. This Insight will provide a short overview of one that has recently progressed to the implementation stage, namely the role of a public health agency such as the WHO in the fight against "counterfeit" medical products.

Le Portail d'information - Médicaments essentiels et produits de santé a été conçu et est maintenu par l'ONG Human Info. Dernière mise à jour: le 1 décembre 2019